Iran says will never change regional policies under any US president

Press TV – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi has reaffirmed the country’s “logical and quite transparent” policies, saying the Islamic Republic would never change its approaches to regional developments under any administration in the United States.

Qassemi made the remark in an interview with ISNA published on Friday in response to “incorrect and unfounded” claims made by US President Donald Trump against Iran in an interview on Tuesday with four members of The Wall Street Journals White House team in the Oval Office.

In his interview, Trump claimed that Iran is “not the same country” since he took office and after he “terminated” the landmark nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.

Qassemi dismissed the US president’s claims and said, “It seems that Trump does not have necessary information about the conditions in the region, its history and characteristics of its peoples as well as the developments in the recent years.”

“Iran is undoubtedly the same country with all its features. [It] is exactly the same country which has been before Trump’s presidency without any change in its regional policies,” he added.

The US president announced in May that Washington was pulling out of the nuclear agreement, which lifted nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear program.

A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran’s access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector. A second round, forthcoming on November 4, will be targeting Iran’s energy sector and financial transactions.

Qassemi further noted that Trump must have learnt that Iran does not seek to take over any country and has not attacked any nation.

The Iranian spokesperson emphasized that Tehran’s regional policies are to fight extremism and terrorism, make efforts to establish peace and security in the region and help boost development and growth in all countries in the Middle East.

He also pointed to Iran’s presence in Syria and said it came at the request of the Syrian government in order to help fight terrorism and give advisory support to the Arab country.

“Iran has no operative military forces in any country; although Iran’s advisory forces have played a fundamental and important role in helping the Syrian government in the fight against terrorism,” Qassemi pointed out.

In a meeting with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem in Damascusin September, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the Islamic Republic will continue to support Syria in its fight against terrorist groups.

Zarif and Muallem also discussed regional issues and the latest developments in Syria, including the return of the displaced people to their homeland.

Iran’s top security official said in May that the country will maintain its advisory role in Syria and continue support for resistance groups.

“As long as the threat of terrorism exists in Syria and the country’s legitimate government persists in Iran’s advisory presence, we will stay in Syria,” Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani added.

Elsewhere in his interview, Qassemi said Iran would make efforts to defend itself in the face off ill-wishers and opponents based on its national interests and in accordance with all international regulations.

Iran would stand by all regional governments and nations who are interested in cooperation with the Islamic Republic in order to stabilize peace and security in the region and fight terrorism and extremism, Qassemi added.

The Iranian spokesman urged the US president to learn about “the real issues in the region” given the ongoing developments and to review the history once again.

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